Spur of the moment purchase - now playing catch up!

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bubblefrog

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Edit: New Question.

I've now got the API master test kit on order but will go the the big pet shop for TSS as they have it in so it'll be quicker. Should I get a test stip pack for now to test first? I'm just thinking if levels are too high I could do another big water change today then add TSS tomorrow once it's 24hr after dechlorinator (now knowing I shouldn't water change for 2 wks). Or should I just add the TSS regardless as I did a 20% change yesterday and wait for test kit to arrive?

Hi,

My other half and I decided to set up an aquarium on the spur of the moment. We now know we've made tons of Rookie mistakes (which of course were coupled with some bad lfs advice) and are now trying to do what's best from here.

We have a 68L tank (18g) tropical set up. No issues with our equipment that is all present and set up correctly. Once we were set up we were advised to do a fish-in cycle (which meant nothing at the time) and we took what we were told was 25% of our final stock levels home and acclimatised our new fishy friends to their new home. Then I started researching, read a lot of forums including this one and learnt that a) I should have researched before even setting foot in the lfs. b) we should have done a fishless cycle.

We've had the fish in since Thursday afternoon and we're already clearing a slight bacterial bloom. Our fish are:

2 Peppered Cories
4 Zebra Danios
4 Neon Tetras
4 Platies

I'm currently feeding the bare minimum that they'll eat to reduce waste levels and doing a 20% water change every 2/3 days to help keep ammonia levels down (that started today but I'm only going to partial hoover of the substrate once a week so as not to remove too much good bacteria).

On to help (questions)

a) We're yet to get a test kit (I know, I know) what would you recommend?

b) What do you think of our stock level? Is it really only 25%? Could we add a few more later? (2 more cories, 2 more zebra, 2/4 more tetra and 2 guppies).

c) Is there any more advice you can give to help stop our poor fishes suffering while the tank cycles?

Thanks in advance!
 

Dom90

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Get yourself an API Freshwater Master Test Kit, most affordable best one out there. Also get yourself a bottle of Seachem Stability or Tetra SafeStart to speed up the establishment of the beneficial bacteria. Best water conditioner on the market that most of us use is Seachem Prime.

Also, when you have time, read this thread I wrote for newbies:
 

LiterallyHydro

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What are the dimensions of the tank? I'm only familiar with aquariums in the US.

I will vouch for the personally. I do also think you're overstocked, since the corydoras will need to be in a school of at least six, as well as the danios and the tetras. If the dimensions are the same as a 20 long, you could up the corydoras to six, keep the neon tetras and up them to 6-12 and either rehome the danios, or do large water changes to keep the nitrates from building up.

If you aren't well versed in cycling yet, check this out.
 
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bubblefrog

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Thanks for your advice

Dimensions are 60 cm long, 42cm high, 30cm wide.

I'm happy to do extra water changes if that's what is required for the current stocking levels.
 

Dom90

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Looks to be 24x12x16 in inches so a 20 high. I would either rehome the set of neon tetras or zebra danios and get 2 more of whichever you choose to keep. Both are schooling fish and need a group of 6+.

 
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bubblefrog

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Ok. Thanks for the conversion. I'll get the testing kit and bacteria booster stuff asap.
 

Blk69

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Not sure what happoned to my post....please excuse if duplicated.

looks like you are wanting a good quality of fish. Suggest you return your tank and get a larger one. Shouldn't be an issue as less than a week old. Suggest ether a 55 or 75 gallon. If you have the room, don't think you will regret getting the bigger tank. I
 

LiterallyHydro

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I would remove the zebra danios, the tank isn't long enough for their really active swimming habits.
 

Et tu

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Ditto to all of the excellent advise from the above posters. Will add that neon tetras & cories may not survive the fish in cycle, they do best in a well established tank. If any of the platies are female you will need to remove excess offspring often. Also if fish die during the first few months don't replace them with more fish, a new tank needs time to get to a balanced state.
 

octopanda

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i recommend that you rehome the zebra danios because they prefer a cooler temperature then the platy fish. And the peppered cory cats if im not mistaken.
 
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bubblefrog

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Thanks.

Unfortunately we don't have room for a bigger tank right now. We will hopefully be moving house in 18/ 24 mths so plan to upgrade then. For now we'll up the cories and tetras as suggested and do bigger, more regular water changes to combat the extra bio load.

Do you really think the Zebras will be unhappy in this tank? I really love watching them but will talk to the lfs about returning them if needs be.
 

Dom90

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Zebra danios thrive better in colder temperatures. Think 64-72 degrees Fahrenheit. The other fish are tropical fish, 75-80 degrees.

As mentioned above, these fish may not survive the cycling process. You would really have to keep an eye on ammonia levels on a daily basis and do water changes almost daily.

Take EVERYTHING told by LFS people with a big grain of salt. They are there to make money and sell stuff. "Oh yea your common pleco will work in a 10 gallon" is a common one told to naive newbies.
 
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bubblefrog

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We did ensure all the platies were male (although I know you get no guarantees).

Yes, I now know that Cories and the tetras aren't as hardy as was made out. I'll be gutted if any of the fish die as it will be our fault We would certainly wait before replacing them if we do lose any.

Ok. I'll definitely speak to the shop about returning them then. Thanks.

How much water would you recommend I change if I can do it every other day?

I'm disappointed with the lfs as they seemed knowledgeable but clearly not enough. We went to them rather a big pet shop franchise and on the back of other peoples recommendation.
 

Dom90

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I would recommend enough to keep the ammonia at 0.50 ppm or less.


 
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bubblefrog

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Ok, thanks.
 

Tonia

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If you get Tetra Safe Start, you will want to follow the directions on the bottle and not do water changes for up to two weeks.

Here is a link to a Q&A with Tetra about Tetra safe start
https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfishforum/threads/q-a-with-tetra-about-tetra-safestart.58116/

ps, Welcome Bubble!! You found a fantastic place to learn about fish keeping and share your own experiences. There is a huge resource on this forum of great people who are happy to help you.

I am glad you joined and hope you will be exceedingly happy here!
 
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bubblefrog

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Hi!
Thanks, I do look forward to learning much more and probably getting addicted!
Thanks also for the heads up on no water changes when I put the safe start in and the link. Very useful!
 
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bubblefrog

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I've added a new question to the OP. If someone can help that would be great.

I've now got the API master test kit on order but will go the the big pet shop for TSS as they have it in so it'll be quicker. Should I get a test stip pack for now to test first? I'm just thinking if levels are too high I could do another big water change today then add TSS tomorrow once it's 24hr after dechlorinator (now knowing I shouldn't water change for 2 wks). Or should I just add the TSS regardless as I did a 20% change yesterday and wait for test kit to arrive?
 
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bubblefrog

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Thanks Coradee ☺
 
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jdhef

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I would test the water before adding the TSS. If ammonia or nitrite are above about .5ppm, I would do a partial water change to bring the levels down. But as you know, be sure to wait 24 hours after last water change to add the TSS
 
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